Northwestern still option for Sina

With Northwestern basketball now looking for a new coach, it will release recruit Jaren Sina from his letter of intent, but he is still considering the Wildcats, his father said on Tuesday.

Sina, a 6-foot-3 point guard, and his family met with Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips on Monday in New Jersey. Sina's father, Mergin Sina, said Tuesday that Phillips told them Sina would be released from his letter of intent. A Northwestern spokesperson wouldn't confirm that on Tuesday.

Sina, ranked the No. 24 senior point guard by ESPN, was of one of the program's most highly ranked recruits when he committed to Northwestern in July. He was recruited by head coach Bill Carmody and assistant Fred Hill. Carmody was fired after 13 seasons on Saturday.

"The first thing [Phillips] said in our conversation was he understood this was going to change some things and he understood we were disappointed, and if it comes out that we like to explore other options they weren't going to hinder it," said Mergin Sina, who coached his son at Gill St. Bernard's School in New Jersey. "I thought that was a very professional thing. At the end of the day, you don't want someone at your school who doesn't want to be there.

"Not too many ADs would respond that quickly. I believe he did that for a reason. A lot of time was spent on Jaren's recruitment, and he understands relationships are important."

Mergin Sina said they haven't looked into any other schools and would wait on Northwestern to make a coaching hire before making any decisions.

"Northwestern is still a real option," he said. "We just would like to see who they hire and would like them to speak with Jaren. It's important for the coach to know Jaren. I'm pretty sure whoever they hire has watched Jaren or knows about him. It's important they know Jaren and know how they want to use him.

"The last year or more Coach Hill and Coach Carmody heavily recruited him, and we both had relationships with them. That was one of the reasons we decided to go to Northwestern. We felt it was an opportunity for Jaren to help the program. There's still that opportunity. We just want to make sure what the new coach brings to the table."

Jaren Sina averaged 21.3 points during his senior season and finished with more than 2,100 points and 900 assists in his career.